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n e w s Vol. 7 Issue 3 • May 2018

Check out our new dining section!

THE

BUSINESS EXPLOSION ◆ 'Go Local' movement ignites south florida

An SFGN Publication

themirrormag.com


MEET DR. VICTOR LORIA, D.O. HE CAN IMPROVE YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE & SEX LIFE Every doctor has the capacity to change lives. It is how they change lives that makes them unique. In 2010, Dr. Victor Loria decided to help men solve a problem so intimate that many had resorted to painful -- even dangerous -self-administered treatments to remedy it. After years of focusing on cosmetic surgery, cosmetic fillers and hair restoration, he began specializing in male penile shaft, penile glans, and scrotal enhancements. His unique specialty allows him to positively impact not only thousands of men, but also their partners. One patient at a time, Dr. Loria is raising the collective self-esteem of the U.S. male population.

A NEW AGE FOR MALE ENHANCEMENT Dr. Loria works in a medical field that only he can lay

He sees on average 1,000 patients annually, as men

claim to -- minimally invasive penile enlargement

discover his practices online (www.loriamedical.com). The

and cosmetic surgery. His Platinum Procedure uses

digital age has allowed potential patients to research their

a permanent filler to increase the penis’ girth. The

options via the privacy of their mobile devices and laptops.

injectable is administered in-office after the application of a topical anesthesia. How enlarged a man becomes depends upon how many procedures he chooses to undergo; however, Dr. Loria says most patients opt for two to three procedures before achieving what they consider to be a successful result.

“When compared to just two years ago, I have seen an almost 30 percent increase in the number of patients I’ve treated,” he said. “The myths about male enhancements are slowly being dispelled. There is this belief that men don’t have many options when it comes to enlargement, and that’s simply not true.”

SOLVING A REAL PROBLEM Prior to an office visit, Dr. Loria invites interested men to join a confidential phone conference Q&A. The forum allows them to share their experiences.

“Many of the men have broken up with their wives, partners or girlfriends because they could not satisfy them. And they either give up sexually or the partners go outside the relationship to find satisfaction,” Dr. Loria said. “It’s a real issue.”

Dr. Loria is the only doctor in the United States to offer dermatologic, surgery-personal male enhancement using his minimally invasive permanent filler technique, which involves no cutting, no anesthesia and little down time. Learn more about him at www.loriamedical.com.


NEW PENIS INSERT INCREASES LENGTH • New! Patented Penile Insert • Add Inches to Flaccid Length • May Increase Erect Length, Too • Prevents Shaft Retraction

• Works With Girth Enlargement • Modern Medical Innovation • In-Office Procedure • PERMANENT RESULTS

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877-375-6742 • 877-DR-LORIA • info@loriamedical.com VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO SEE AND HEAR WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING.

WWW.LORIAMEDICAL.COM


May 2018 | Vol 7 | Issue 3 2520 N. Dixie Highway | Wilton Manors, FL 33305 Phone: 954.530.4970 Fax: 954.530.7943

Table of contents

Publisher NORM KENT

norm.kent@sfgn.com

Chief Executive Officer PIER ANGELO GUIDUGLI piero@sfgn.com Associate Publisher/ JASON PARSLEY Executive Editor jason.parsley@sfgn.com

EDITORIAL

news & Features Publisher's Editorial ● Page 11

48 Hours In Brighton ● Page 19 Jason Shervinski Brings Kickball, Dodgeball and More to Fort Lauderdale ● Page 24

Greenlighting Wilton Manors: Tom Green ● Page 76 Artist Spotlight: Carlos Cesar Alves ● Page 50

Meet The Locals: Small Business Spotlight

Business Meet a few of the faces that make our communities truly shine. Begins on Page 29

Begins on Page 29 Al Cicotte and Kevin Palombo ● Page 30 Fernando Masterson ● Page 30

Peter Dekaj ● Page 31

John Castelli ● Page 32

Art Director BRENDON LIES artwork@sfgn.com Senior Features Reporter CHRISTIANA LILLY A&E Editor / Design J.W. ARNOLD Digital Content Director BRITTANY FERRENDI Copy Editor Kerri Covington

SALES & MARKETING For ad placement in the Mirror Magazine, contact 954-530-4970 Sales Manager JUSTIN WYSE justin@sfgn.comm Advertising Sales Assoc. EDWIN NEIMANN edwin@sfgn.com Advertising Sales Assoc. CLARK ROGERS clark@sfgn.com Distribution Services Rocky Bowell Printing THE PRINTER’S PRINTER National Advertising RIVENDELL MEDIA Accounting Services CG BOOKKEEPING

Mark Alexander ● Page 34

Kevin J. Clevenger ● Page 34 Neel Amin ● Page 35

Leonardo and Silvia Baldi ● Page 36 Joe Pallant ● Page 38 Marco Vico ● Page 38

Dr. Troy Lomasky ● Page 40

Cover 1: Joe Pallant, owner of Pallant Insurance. Photo by Steven Shires. Cover 2: Christina Wan, owner of Christina Wan's Mandarin House. Photo by Carina Mask.

Tim Hart ● Page 42

Patrick Volkert and Mark Hunter ● Page 42 Lori Deak ● Page 44

Russell Cormican ● Page 46

Eric McKnight & Christian Santiago ● Page 47 Richard Gray ● Page 47

Christina Wan ● Page 48

Dining Browse through the menus and flavors of local restaurants. Begins on Page 57

Dining Section

The Mirror is published quarterly. The opinions expressed in columns, stories, and letters to the editor are those of the writers. They do not represent the opinions of The Mirror or the Publisher. You should not presume the sexual orientation of individuals based on their names or pictorial representations in The Mirror. Furthermore the word “gay” in The Mirror should be interpreted to be inclusive of the entire LGBT community. All of the material that appears in The Mirror, both online at www.themirrormag. com, and in our print edition, including articles used in conjunction with the Associated Press and our columnists, is protected under federal copyright and intellectual property laws, and is jealously guarded by the newspaper. Nothing published may be reprinted in whole or part without getting written consent from the Publisher of The Mirror, Norm Kent, at Norm@ NormKent.com. The Mirror is published by the South Florida Gay News. It’s a private corporation, and reserves the right to enforce its own standards regarding the suitability of advertising copy, illustrations and photographs. MIRROR Copyright © 2018, South Florida Gay News.com, Inc. MEMBER

Begins on Page 57 Raising The Bar: Local Taverns Dish Up Tasty Fare ● Page 60

Associated Press Florida Press Association National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association MEMBER


CALL THE BOX OFFICE TODAY FOR ORDERING INFORMATION; MONDAY – THURSDAY 10AM – 5PM

Mary Gaines Bernard celebrates the Life and Music Of Donna Summer

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 @ 8PM

Mandy Gonzalez: Fearless – from

Stayin’ Alive

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 @ 8PM

Friday, January 25, 2019 @ 8PM Currently starring on Broadway in Hamilton as Angelica Schuyler

Love Is A Rose: Celebrating the Music of Linda Ronstadt Thursday, March 28, 2019 @ 8PM

Josh Young sings Andrew Lloyd Webber

Friday, March 29, 2019 @ 8PM Tony® Nominee for the 2012 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar

LIVE at Royal Albert Hall [Revisited]: The Everly Brothers Reunion Concert Wednesday, January 9, 2019 @ 8PM

Jessica Lang Dance

Oh What A Night! An evening with Charles Calello

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Thursday, January 24, 2019 @ 8PM

Summer of Love and Woodstock

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 @ 8PM

Jay and the Americans

Monday, March 11, 2019 @ 8PM

Fri. & Sat. January 11 & 12, 2019 @ 8PM Fri. & Sat. February 1 & 2, 2019 @ 8PM

Viva MOMIX: Greatest Hits Tour

Fri. & Sat., March 1 & 2, 2019 @ 8PM

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Fri. & Sat., March 22 & 23, 2019 @ 8PM

Maxwell Quartet Natalie Clein, cello

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 @ 2PM

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 @ 2PM

Julian Gargiulo, piano Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 @ 2PM

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 @ 2PM

4200 Congress Ave (I-95 Exit #63, west 1 mile)


WHAT’S YOUR STORY GOING TO BE? INTRODUCING BIKTARVY® Ask your healthcare provider if BIKTARVY is right for you.

To learn more, visit

BIKTARVY.com Please see Brief Summary of Patient Information with important warnings on the adjacent pages.


Do not take BIKTARVY if you also take a medicine that contains: ``dofetilide

Brief Summary of Patient Information about BIKTARVY® BIKTARVY (bik-TAR-vee) (bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide) tablets Important: Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about medicines that should not be taken with BIKTARVY. For more information, see “What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking BIKTARVY?”

What is the most important information I should know about BIKTARVY? BIKTARVY can cause serious side effects, including: ``Worsening of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

If you have an HBV infection and take BIKTARVY, your HBV may get worse (flare-up) if you stop taking BIKTARVY. A “flare-up” is when your HBV infection suddenly returns in a worse way than before.

``rifampin

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking BIKTARVY? Before taking BIKTARVY, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including if you: ``have liver problems, including hepatitis B virus infection ``have kidney problems ``are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not

known if BIKTARVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant during treatment with BIKTARVY. Pregnancy Registry: There is a pregnancy registry for women who take antiviral medicines during pregnancy. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. Talk with your healthcare provider about how you can take part in this registry. ``are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not

• Do not run out of BIKTARVY. Refill your prescription or talk to your healthcare provider before your BIKTARVY is all gone.

breastfeed if you take BIKTARVY.

• Do not stop taking BIKTARVY without first talking to your healthcare provider. If you stop taking BIKTARVY, your healthcare provider will need to check your health often and do blood tests regularly for several months to check your HBV infection. Tell your healthcare provider about any new or unusual symptoms you may have after you stop taking BIKTARVY.

• At least one of the medicines in BIKTARVY can pass to your baby in your breast milk. It is not known if the other medicines in BIKTARVY can pass into your breast milk.

For more information about side effects, see “What are the possible side effects of BIKTARVY?”

What is BIKTARVY? BIKTARVY is a prescription medicine that is used without other anti-HIV-1 medicines to treat Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) in adults: ``who have not received anti-HIV-1 medicines in

the past, or ``to replace their current anti-HIV-1 medicines for

people whose healthcare provider determines that they meet certain requirements. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

• You should not breastfeed if you have HIV-1 because of the risk of passing HIV-1 to your baby.

Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines may interact with BIKTARVY. Keep a list of your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. ``You can ask your healthcare provider or

pharmacist for a list of medicines that interact with BIKTARVY. ``Do not start a new medicine without telling your

healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can tell you if it is safe to take BIKTARVY with other medicines. Continued on next page.

BIKTARVY contains the prescription medicines bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide. It is not known if BIKTARVY is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.

BIKTARVY.com


Continued from previous page.

How should I take BIKTARVY? ``Take BIKTARVY exactly as your healthcare

provider tells you to take it. BIKTARVY is taken by itself (not with other HIV-1 medicines) to treat HIV-1 infection. ``Take BIKTARVY 1 time each day with or

without food. ``Do not change your dose or stop taking

BIKTARVY without first talking with your healthcare provider. Stay under a healthcare provider’s care during treatment with BIKTARVY. ``If you take antacids that contain aluminum,

magnesium, or calcium, take BIKTARVY on an empty stomach 2 hours before you take these antacids. ``If you take supplements that contain iron or

calcium, take these supplements with food at the same time that you take BIKTARVY. ``Do not miss a dose of BIKTARVY. ``If you take too much BIKTARVY, call your

healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away. ``When your BIKTARVY supply starts to run

low, get more from your healthcare provider or pharmacy. This is very important because the amount of virus in your blood may increase if the medicine is stopped for even a short time. The virus may develop resistance to BIKTARVY and become harder to treat.

What are the possible side effects of BIKTARVY? BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including: ``See “What is the most important information

I should know about BIKTARVY?” ``Changes in your immune system (Immune

Reconstitution Syndrome) can happen when you start taking HIV-1 medicines. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you start having any new symptoms after starting your HIV-1 medicine. ``New or worse kidney problems, including

kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys when starting and during treatment with BIKTARVY. Your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking BIKTARVY if you develop new or worse kidney problems.

What are the possible side effects of BIKTARVY? (continued) ``Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic

acidosis). Too much lactic acid is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat. ``Severe liver problems. In rare cases, severe liver

problems can happen that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, lightcolored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain. The most common side effects of BIKTARVY are diarrhea (6%), nausea (5%), and headache (5%). These are not all the possible side effects of BIKTARVY. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

General information about the safe and effective use of BIKTARVY. Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use BIKTARVY for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give BIKTARVY to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them. This Brief Summary summarizes the most important information about BIKTARVY. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about BIKTARVY that is written for health professionals. For more information, call 1-800-445-3235 or go to www.BIKTARVY.com. Keep BIKTARVY and all medicines out of reach of children. Issued: February 2018 BIKTARVY, the BIKTARVY Logo, GILEAD, and the GILEAD Logo are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. © 2018 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. BVYC0004 02/18

BIKTARVY.com


PUBLISHER'S EDITORIAL

The Mirror Reflects Our Lives

// Norm Kent

I

am here to tell you a little bit about this issue of SFGN’S ‘MIRROR’ Magazine. First, it's local, and instead of trying to tell you about every social problem we think should be solved in the world, by 5 p.m., if possible, we illuminate the lives of local business persons whose professionalism and purpose have enhanced the lives of the LGBT community. What’s best is you know these people. You see these people. You work with these people. You can share their stories with your friends, and they know those people too. You don’t need to be gay to serve a good pizza or bake a good pie. But it is nice to live in a community where serving you does not become a constitutional rights issue. What does a mirror do? It reflects on our image, who we are, and what we look like. But there is a double entendre hidden therein which should send a message to all of us about community, caring for others, and conscience. There is an age-old Rabbinical tale about this, which I think I made up while drunk at a bar in Key West last Christmas. It goes like this. Look through a window and you see the world in front of you. Put a little silver in the glass and you see only yourself. Our magazine is about seeing beyond your reflection. Our goal every other month is to showcase your life, who you are, and what you do. Therefore, I have determined our magazine will have a more specific theme and particularized purpose. I don’t need to interview Adam Lambert or Madonna. Let Deco Drive do that. My goal in this issue and going forward is to let you learn more about people you may already know, so shoot me, because one person I insisted we profile in this issue of allies was my law partner Russell Cormican. You see, while I was off on my many marijuana journeys for NORML or playing in fantasy baseball camps, he was fighting for your rights, winning victories like he did recently, securing extended hours licenses for local gay nightclubs. Seriously though, our community has

many people who serve and support us in many ways. Fortunately, our community is a part of the mainstream, not apart from it. With partnerships, we all grow. The reason our society was called a melting pot is because diversity is healthy; because integration is to be cheered, not jeered. This issue introduces you to Christina Wan, an entrepreneurial businesswoman who does a lot more than serve your Mongolian Beef in a ‘to go’ box. She owns and operates three separate restaurants while making sure her staff is responsive and receptive to our community. Going forward, the Mirror will more closely reflect those we are close to. Feel free to offer suggestions. Who has coached your softball team for the last ten years? Who volunteers every week to take a disabled person to the doctor? Who is the person in your group always helping a friend, and then of course getting bitten in the ass for doing so? Let’s showcase those stories. Therefore, having an underlying theme of restaurants in this issue can’t be more on point. I think the first sign of being gay is when you graduate from college and realize you can’t make a single meal on your own. Outside of Mac ‘N Cheese, I am so useless near a stove that after my kitchen once caught fire and my oven blew up, I removed it and used the open space to store my softball equipment. Really. That happened. You can’t make stories like that up. I did eventually buy a new oven, but it took about a year. I mean, Big Louie’s delivers. Anyway, every day, I thank the good lord that I live close by the Floridian Restaurant on East Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. It’s open 24 hours a day, and a place where you can get a fresh piece of grilled salmon with broccoli for dinner, or pig out on one of their world famous three egg omelets for breakfast. Maybe I now belong to the poached egg generation of heart patients, but when they do my eulogy, someone should mention that I have now eaten more meals at the “Flo on ELO” than I ever did at my own home growing up with mom and dad.

Hey, I moved out of home when I was 18 and went to college. I have been eating at the Floridian twice as long. Of course, no matter how hard Butch tries, he will never make matzah balls like Grandma did. As I have said many times, you don’t have to make headlines, and you don’t have to be a mayor, you just have to shine as a human being; as a person with a purpose whose life gives light to his community; who makes his community proud of him. We are lucky here in our corner of the universe. Being gay does not get you evicted. It can get you elected. Therefore, the Venice of South Florida, Fort Lauderdale now actually has its first gay mayor, Dean Trantalis. Recently, Mayor Dean proved how important that can be, standing up to city staff, and ensuring that gay bars would be able to remain open until 2 a.m., cutting off an aborted attempt to roll back their hours. For those of you just moving into our community you should be able to find a magazine that can tell you how Dean got his start in this town over 40 years ago, beginning his legal career as a transactions lawyer in an office on Las Olas, where he, too, would have breakfasts at the Floridian. The gay community has a rich history here in South Florida. The Mirror will continue to celebrate it and bring it to your place of business, your favorite bar, or even mail it to your home. However—there is always a but—we distribute the magazine for free, that’s right, for free, in a world where nothing is so. Consequently, we need your support, your advertising dollars and your word of mouth to others that our publication has a purpose and you have a voice on these pages which reflects your own. Thank you for supporting us and your friends and neighbors. Sharing is caring, and caring is community. We create the world we make by the decisions we make every day. Our goal is to create a magazine that makes its way to your coffee table or a conversation with your friends. That’s our mission. Tell us about yours. Let’s all make a difference together.

THE

 11


ESTATE PLANNING AND LONG TERM

LEGAL ISSUES For Married Couples, Domestic Partners, and Just Plain Friends

A

nd we thought that if only we won the right to marry our problems would be "over', and now we realize in many ways, our struggle for equal rights has just begun. Don't get me wrong, your marriage has achieved some basic rights. Yes, if you marry you will have the right to inherit something from your spouse in the event of his/her death without leaving a will. You will have the right to make health care decisions for your incapacitated spouse, but, without the proper paperwork you will not have access to his healthcare information under the HIPM laws. Without paperwork, your ability to make end of life decisions regarding withdrawal of life support is limited. Without a durable power of attorney, you will not be able to manage your spouse's finances if he becomes incapacitated. Even if we are legally married, "estate planning documents give us rights to inherit and act on behalf of our partners and ensure that our assets and our care in event of disability and death are managed according to our wishes, and not by default under the law, which most often is not as we would have chosen. Those of us who do not find themselves in the traditional married with children scenario must recognize that careful estate and long-term care planning is even more crucial for us. If you are a party to a marriage, have kids, and intend that your spouse make decisions for you should you be in­capacitated, and that your spouse and kids inherit in the event of your death, then, in the worst-case scenario that you become disabled, or die without the proper legal docu­ments in place, the law of the land will approximate you1· wishes (with the caveats referred to above). On the other hand, if you are unmarried, with or without kids, and wish your friends or significant other, domestic partner, lover, boyfriend, girlfriend, charitable institutions, your old alma mater, your nieces, but not their parents, your parents, but then at their death to your boyfriend, your cats, dogs, fish, etc.: That is, if you are living a 11non-traditional11 life, or a "traditional married" life, you will need to make

sure that the appropriate legal documents are in place to effectuate your wishes in the event of your death or incapacity. Those of you who live in metropolitan areas or states that have domestic partnership legislation may find yourselves confused about your legal status vis a vis estate planning and long-term care planning - you may assume that you have more protection than you have. Domestic partner­ ship laws are extremely limited as to what rights and privi­leges are granted to those who register their relationships. Understandably, some folks remain little confused about just what our legal status is about property ownership, inheritance and planning for long term disability. Unless you are married - in which case you have all the legal rights marriage confers that the state can confer, e.g., inheritance, spousal rights to state pensions, second parent adoption, standing to sue for wrongful death, rights to make some health care decisions. Outside of marriage, and re­gardless of anti-discrimination ordinances and domestic part­nership registries, those of us in non-traditional relationships are unprotected by state or federal law if we want our significant others and friends to inheritance from us in the event of our death. No matter how long you and your partner have cohabit­ed, if you are without legal documents the law considers your domestic partner a virtual stranger to you. In the event of your death certain of your blood relatives or those related to you by marriage will inherit your property and will be ap­pointed as your legal guardian if you suffer from a long-term incapacity. inheritance and property ownership are governed by state law and we are totally unprotected without special documents creating legal rights for us. Couples and individu­als concerned that their property go to their friends and lovers rather than, or in addition to, blood relatives must take the extra step to provide these safeguards by executing legal documents that ensure that in the event of disaster, their loved ones are protected, and their property is disposed of according to their wishes.

You will want at a minimum, a Last Will and Testament, which ensures that you choose the person you wish to be in control at your death that your friends and relatives will inherit your property according to your wishes. You may also opt to create a Revocable Living Trust in which you create a legal entity owned by you, controlled by you, taxed under your social security number, and under which you reap all the benefits and rewards of ownership of the assets you place therein during your lifetime. You are the Trustee (the one who oversees the assets) and sole beneficiary during your lifetime. In this document you will set forth your wishes as to how your assets are to be distributed upon your death, and you choose who will carry out your wishes. This docu­ment also allows you to change or do away with this docu­ment at any time during your lifetime, just like a will. While the living trust is revocable by you at any time during your lifetime, it becomes irrevocable upon your death. The other documents that are essential are: a Durable Power of Attorney - A formally witnessed statement authori­zing an individual to handle your affairs during your tempor­ary or permanent incapacitation; a Living Will - A formally witnessed statement that life prolonging procedures be withheld or withdrawn after your attending physician and another consulting physician have determined that there is no reasonable medical probability of recovery from your medical, terminal, end-state or vegetative state condition; and, a Designation of Health Care Surrogate with HIPM provisions - A formally witnessed statement designating and authorizing an individual to make healthcare decisions for you if you are incapable of doing so yourself. You may not be in danger of death wherein the Living Will would come into effect, but temporarily unable to make informed decisions Remember, whether you choose to marry or not, you must take the initiative to provide the legal protections and essential rights for yourself and your loved ones!


TRAVEL

x

18  THE


48

TRAVEL

hours in

Brighton

T

Aaron Drake

he train rolled into the English seaside village of Brighton just as it was getting dark. There was a noticeable change in the air from when I stepped onto the train in London. A little cooler and a little stronger; I could already pick up hints of salt in the air as I walked the mile to the shoreline from the train station.

About an hour train ride from London - half hour from London Gatwick Airport with direct flights on the low-cost Norwegian Airlines from Fort Lauderdale - Brighton is the United Kingdom’s not-so-little-secret queer getaway. While the secret is clearly out (Britney Spears will be headlining Brighton Pride on August 3-5 after all), it’s still a charming city with plenty to explore.

THE

 19


TRAVEL

20  THE


Stay

While you’re at the beach, why not stay on the beach? The cozy boutique Legends Hotel (legendsbrighton.com), or platinum gay b&b, was my hotel of choice this trip. It’s located right across the street from the beach with panoramic water views from the hotel’s outdoor terrace. It’s a lovely spot to enjoy a complimentary breakfast for guests, order lunch or drink away the afternoon which you will see plenty of gays doing. The first floor is the gay bar, you have to walk through to get to the front desk, so immediately you’ll feel like you’re part of the action. Rooms are simple and clean here, just enough space for a weekend away. My room had a fetching partial view of the sea. The best part downstairs turns into a club after hours with a live DJ spinning an eclectic mix of current and classic pop hits. What’s better than being able to dance the night away and then stumble up to your room without ever having to leave the building?

Eat

Fish n’ Chips galore - with mushy peas! It would be a disappointment (nay, actually a feat) to leave Brighton’s seashore without enjoying a plate of the classic British fare. It’s sold at nearly every restaurant along the waterfront and in many forms and variations - large dishes, baskets and even some beachgoers carrying it around in paper cups like a delectable dessert. That said, try grabbing a table at any of the seaside restaurants. The weather was heavenly while I was there so of course there were crowds and long waits everywhere. I grabbed an outdoor table at Ohso Social Beach Bar + Restaurant (ohsobrighton.co.uk) to try another must (even worth the long queue at the bar): Pimm’s, a refreshing, summery English cocktail made with lemon soda, fruit and gin. For a dinner out, the queer tap house Charles Street Tap (charles-street.com) was a fun find with great music, craft beer and even a cabaret show during the week. The menu here is the usual comfort bar food with a fresh twist, like crab and prawn mac and cheese bites. Delicious even if you’re not drinking.

Pride in London 2018 There’s no better time to visit London than during the summertime. Especially for LGBT people—London Pride takes over the city for almost an entire month with live theater, exhibitions and events. This year it kicks off on June 9 and culminates with the Pride parade on July 7. For the full schedule of events, visit prideinlondon.org.

TRAVEL

See

A few blocks away from Legends is unarguably Brighton’s biggest attraction — Brighton Pier. A familiar landmark, it’s worth checking out on a stroll down the rocky beach. Its slightly carnival vibe, with games, rides and wildly unhealthy-yet-delicious fare make it a true tourist attraction. But as the British do many things, there’s a bit more feeling of restraint in that this is a classic landmark rather than just another full-on cheesy tourist stop. Still only a few more blocks further from the Pier is the Brighton’s historic Lanes shopping district. The narrow winding roads are lined with independent shops and boutiques selling everything from chocolate and spices to shoes and vinyl records.

For more information and even more options on what to see and do in Brighton, go to VisitBrighton.com.

Play

Brighton has an impressive array of gay (and lesbian) bars. Shocking as so many big cities are losing their queer nightlife— London included—so it was refreshing to see so many options. Camelford Arms (camelford-arms.co.uk), a very English (and very cozy) pub, is an ideal place for beer and conversation. The Amsterdam Hotel’s (amsterdamhotelbrighton.com) first floor bar and outdoor terrace is a bit classier option for cocktails. And if it’s dancing and drag shows you want, there are plenty of options besides Legends—Doctor Brightons (doctorbrightons. co.uk), Revenge Bar & Club (revenge.co.uk) and The Queen’s Arms (theqabrighton.com) just to name a few. All the bars are within walking distance of one another, making a night out in Brighton simple and easy to get around.

Here’s what you need to plan for London Pride:

1.

Budget accommodations are perfectly acceptable for Pride month. Book on misterbandb.com for places to stay on the cheap and still have the comforts of home.

2. 3.

Get an Oyster Card to make navigating the city’s Tube, train and bus systems even easier.

See all the best landmarks London has to offer with London Pass (londonpass.com). Download the London Pass mobile app and you’ll have your tickets to visit 80+ tourist attractions like Tower of London and Tower Bridge. This means skipping lines, saving time and getting a discount. For more travel tips and itineraries, visit visitbritain.com/us/en/campaigns/lgbt.

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KEEP YOUR EYES ON

South Florida Gay News

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sports

Jason Shervinski Brings

Kickball, Dodgeball and Mo

re

to Fort Lauderdale

He has ‘one rule’ partic ipants must abide by Damon Scott

J

ason Shervinski isn’t try ing to tell you what to do. But if he had his way, you’d get up off the couch and com e make some new friends. And who doesn’t want to take some stress out on a big bouncy ball?

Shervinski is the genera l manager and founder of Varsity Gay League – Fort Lauderdale. The Varsity Gay League, or VGL, is based in Los Angel es. Launched in 2007, it’s now one of the country’s largest LG BT recreational sports leagues. The idea is to offer year-round “ou tside-the-box” activities, games and spo rting events to city reside nts, with a focus on socializing and buildi ng community relationsh ips. There is no required level of experienc e to participate. And while “gay” is in the name prominently, it’s an space for all LGBTQ peo “inclusive ple and allies,” said She rvinski, who has been athletic since high school, when he compet ed in track and field, cross-country runnin g and swimming. Fort Lauderdale is one of 13 cities from coast to coast (and counting) in the VGL fam ily. Shervinski brought kickball to the table first, and later introd uced dodgeball. He’s got beach volleyball and soccer in the pipelin e as well. “The founder of VGL [W ill Hackner] and I have been friends for six years,” said Shervi nski. “We met in Las Veg as at a [kickball] tournament, clicked and stayed in touch.” At the tournament, She rvinski said he made a slew of new friends. And when Hackn er found out Shervinsk i was moving to Fort Lauderdale, he sug gested the new resident could start a chapter.

Kicks and politics Shervinski, 33, and his partner Michael Touma yan, also 33, moved to Wilton Manors about a year ago. Shervinski is a high-leve l information technology He’s been in the IT indust specialist. ry for almost half of his life. Toumayan works remotely for the Hu man Rights Campaign, bas ed in D.C. It was in D.C. that the du o met, and also ended up South Florida. Part of the coming to motivation to move was so Toumayan could be closer to his par ents who live in nearby Boynton Beach. Part of the reason was po litics. “Being someone who wo rks in politics on the tech side, I was working 80-hour we eks and needed to get away from the constant talk about po litics,” Shervinski said. “You can’t fault

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people in D.C. for that — it’s their life and blood.” Shervinski said while D.C. is an “amazing cit y,” it’s also a transitional one. “It can be cold to start off in. But I met like-minded people and gravitated to those I had things in common with, like sports,” he said. Shervinski notes that it is in D.C. that Stonewall Kickball was founded, later evolving int o Stonewall Sports — a VG L-like group with similar missions. “The organization is one of a kind,” he said. “I hav e nothing but good things to say about them.”

Rural upbringing Shervinski grew up in small town Shamokin, Pennsylvania, about two and a half ho urs northwest of Philadelp hia. He would later attend Bloomsburg University of Pennsylva nia, which was fairly close to home, to stu dy computer science. It was at Bloomsburg tha t Shervinski pledged a fraternity — Delta Kappa Epsilon. “I’d been out since I was 15 years old to family and clo se friends,” Shervinski said. “[But] it was a struggle [to be out at college].” Shervinski said he’d alw ays wanted to join a fra ternity and gathered the nerve to spe ak to the person who ran Greek life. “I went to rush parties and talked to [the fraternity] The frat didn’t know I wa brothers. s gay. However, the nig ht before they gave out invites to join , I said: ‘Can we talk?’ I explained the situation and they accept ed me,” he said. Shervinski said his fra ternity experience wa s “extremely positive” and that he tal ks to his fraternity brothe rs to this day.

Philadelphia freedom Out of college, Shervins ki said he got his first “real job” in Philadelphia, and it was there that he had his firs t real experience in “gay life.” “Philly has its own enclav e that’s nicknamed ‘The Gayborhood.’ You have Woody’s, one of the oldest gay bars in the U.S., and you basically have whatever you want — there are chill places, or dancing … ,” Shervinski said. “It opened my eyes to what the [gay] community was, and to be around other individ uals from other colors and races was am azing.” While his first relationshi p was at Bloomsburg, he said it was


For more

sports

To participate in kickball the cost is $57.50. The current sea son began April 28, but there are two more sea sons remaining in 2018. It’s the midseason for dodgeb all (which has four season s). A new dodgeball season beg ins this summer. There are discounts for spe cial events. Kickball games are generally played at Mickel Park in Wil ton Manors. Contact Shervinski at Jason@ varsitygayleague.com or go to varsitygayleague.com.

short-lived. His second relationship was in Ph iladelphia, but Shervinski recalls being “young and stupid.” He spent six and a half yea rs in Philadelphia before D.C., where he also spent heading to six and a half years. Sherv inski said he made a lot of friends in Philadelphia through spo rts activities as well.

VGL side hustle Busy with IT work, Sh ervinski said managing VGL – Fort Lauderdale is his “side hu stle.” “Rather than starting som ething from the ground up, already gone through tho [VGL] has se pains of the initial sta rt up,” he said. Almost like running a franchise, Shervinski said while the group is for-profit, it has a “philanthropic backbone.” It’s something he’s already brought to the Fort Lau derdale chapter, and intends to expand up on. For example on May 4 he hosted players for a kick-o ff barbeque to support Broward House — a nonprofit helping tho se with HIV and other conditions. Th e group assembled “digni ty baskets,” containing items like sha mpoo, soap, razors, shavin g cream, and so on. “Later on down the road we will have some other fundraisers — an ugly sweater Christma s party for Toys for Tots, and in January or February a bachelor/ bachelorette auction for SunServe,” Shervinski said.

That ‘one rule’ Shervinski admits the lea gue is heavy on gay men, but that he’s “doing everything in his power to get more wome n involved.” He said he’s also reached ou t to the transgender com munity. On April 14 Shervinski teamed up with the Sou Amateur Athletics Associ th Florida ation of Fort Lauderdal e for a Drag Kickball game, complete with area drag queen and “mistress of ceremonies” Anna Rexia. On April 29 he joined wit h Ignite Women South an event to benefit SunS Florida for erve at the Gym Sports Bar in Wilton Manors. “Bisexuals and straight allies are also welcome ,” Shervinski said. “I have one rule for the league, and you sign it in the waiver: don’t be a douchebag. We want everyone to come out and have fun. It doesn’t matter wh o you are.”

Photo courtesy of Jason Shervinski.

THE

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Meet The

locals

Small businesses are the face of the community, and a driving force behind our magazine... Meet the faces behind a few of those businesses.

THE

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business spotlight

Al Cicotte and Kevin Palombo

American Tax & Insurance Services Damon Scott

A

By the numbers • 500 clients • 85% are gay and lesbian • $150 million in investments managed

For more, go to AmericanTaxAndInsurance.com.

l Cicotte and Kevin Palombo are the 14-years and running faces of American Tax & Insurance Services in Wilton Manors. But other than their titles (president and investment advisor rep, respectively) you’d be hard pressed to separate the two, and their 13-year-old mini-pinscher Tiny. The couple first met while attending college in the Detroit area. “He was the first gay guy I met,” said Cicotte. “We went on a quasi blind date in Detroit and he took me to my first gay bar,” he said of the 1986 encounter. The two have been together ever since. They got married in February. Their careers started in financial planning and advisement. In 1990, the couple became senior executives with Jackson National Life, working for the company in Charlotte and Atlanta before moving to Fort Lauderdale in 2004.

“At Jackson we offered clients a whole range of portfolio options,” Palombo, 33, said. “Our business philosophy changed when we moved to Florida, in that we used to target clients from 18 [years old] to 80, but now we concentrate primarily on the senior market,” he said. Cicotte, 45, added that part of the strategy is offering low risk, conservative investments. “Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, I don’t think anyone anticipated the stock market would do so well under Trump,” Cicotte said. “But if Trump gets impeached tomorrow, you’re not going to lose 50 percent of your money with us. For the average American, trying to invest in the stock market is a losing proposition,” he said. Cicotte said his clients appreciate the safety, as most of them are on the cusp of retirement or are already there. Their office, with five employees, is located in the Wilton Executive Suites at 2312 Wilton Drive.

Fernando Masterson

Broward Center for Performing Arts

F

ernando Masterson says he’s always been a lover of the arts. His career in the industry has taken a marketing slant — beginning at the Hippodrome Theatre in Gainesville and continuing on the airwaves at CBS Radio and Kiss Country. His radio stints exposed him to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, where he has been the marketing manager for almost three years. “I love seeing shows, traveling to see shows and talking about shows,” said Masterson. We asked him about shows at the Broward Center and more. What’s been most surprising about your work? How much goes into putting on a show and how quickly it all happens. There are so many moving parts behind-the-scenes, from programming who books the artists, to production [and] who loads in everything a few hours before the performance. Also, some

30  THE

of these artist riders are crazy. We haven’t received the ‘all blue M&Ms’ request yet, but a handful of the artist demands have been very off-the-wall. What do people perhaps not realize about the Broward Center? We have one of the largest performing arts center education programs in the country, serving over 3 million students with our SEAS [Student Enrichment in the Arts] program. Also, between the Broward Center and its affiliated venues, we put on hundreds of performances a year. How is the rest of the year shaping up? We’ve got Audra McDonald and Bill Clinton coming to our Au-Rene theater this June, and The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Show is taking center stage soon after. With shows like Hamilton and Legally Blonde lined up, patrons can expect an incredible season of art and entertainment here in South Florida.

Browardcenter.org Damon Scott


Peter Dekaj

business spotlight

Stork’s Bakery

W

hen Peter Dekaj came to Stork’s Bakery 21 years ago as managing partner and pastry chef, he had no idea he would eventually become the owner of one of Wilton Manors’ go-to bakeries. Winning multiple SFGN Best Of awards for Best Dessert, Stork’s is the ultimate gay-friendly bakery in the area. “I’m an ally, but I don’t see myself as any different from anyone else,” said Dekaj, who identifies as straight but does not feel separate from the LGBT community. “The community supports me.” Jim Stork, the founder of Stork’s, taught Dekaj to work with and get more in touch with the community. Dekaj took over as owner in 2007 —

Brittany Ferrendi

10 years after the bakery opened. “My goal is to maintain what we’re doing — and bring in a higher level of customer service.” Dekaj plans to remodel the bakery and add new items. He’ll be moving the flow of customers by moving and adding a register, giving it a necessary “facelift.” In addition to improving Stork’s, Dekaj also donates to multiple non-profit organizations such as Kids in Distress, located right down the street from the bakery. “When you live in a small community like this, you see the needs. So you start helping out wherever you can — and the community supports us back.”

THE

 31


business spotlight

Damon Scott

T

he Great Recession wasn’t great for the housing market. But South Florida has largely left those effects in its rearview mirror. Today there’s another problem: low housing inventory. John Castelli says the problem is a good one for sellers. “A balanced market is when you have six months worth of inventory; less than six months it’s a sellers market. We have 4.2 months worth of inventory of single family homes right now,” said Castelli, the president and broker of Castelli Real Estate. Castelli has built a bit of an independent real estate empire in South Florida over the years, competing with the big franchises. “One of the things that will make you successful is to try in every way possible to make your agents successful,” said Castelli, who has about 260 agents under his umbrella. Castelli has also cast his net over more than just the single-family housing market. He’s been “dabbling in development too,” as he puts it. After asking for a rezoning request with the city of Wilton Manors, for example: “Now we could build townhomes and lofts [in Highland Estates],” Castelli said. The Chicago native previously tried to retire, but it didn’t work. He gave it a shot after two decades of owning Fort Lauderdale’s former Copa Nightclub, which was famously raided by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in 1991. But after selling the Copa in 1995 and travelling for a handful of years with his husband Steven, he knew he needed to get back into work. Since he owned several properties, real estate was a natural fit. “I used to get home at 6 a.m., now I get up at 6 a.m.,” Castelli said. “I just love real estate. I don’t play golf.”

For more information, visit castellihomes.com.

32  THE

John Castelli Castelli Real Estate


business spotlight

Mark Alexander Duncan Theatre Denise Royal

T

his December marks 17 years at the Duncan Theatre for Mark Alexander. As Executive Director, he now oversees the operations of all three Palm Beach State College Theaters – Duncan Theatre in Lake Worth, Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center in Belle Glade and the Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens. “It has been a crash course in more effective time management and adaptive goal setting to be sure,” Alexander said. “In the broader perspective, the multi-billion dollar arts industry has changed in some drastic ways over the last two decades. In all manners of speaking, these theaters and creative companies – dance, theatre and music ensembles of every shape and form – have morphed into full blown businesses with the bottom-line never far from sight. Fiscal responsibility and artistic endeavors now share the spotlight, if you

will, as equal emphasis and attention are required to be truly successful in today’s competitive entertainment & arts sector.” Alexander’s first job out of college was working as an accountant, giving him a leg up when it comes to the business part of show business. After ten years of success in the corporate world, he made a transition to a career in theatre management. It’s the excitement of working in the arts that keeps Alexander, who identifies as gay, coming back year after year. “The hunger I still have for what I do after 27 years in this business — creating opportunities for the curious and even just slightly curious to experience live performances and culture,” Alexander said. “There are so many more stories to share with our south Florida communities through dance, music and theatre. I am driven by the challenges of building and cultivating new audiences.”

Kevin J. Clevenger Poverello Center

M

ore than 30 years ago Father William F. Collins, known as “Father Bill,” and a group of volunteers began providing services on 18th Street in Pompano Beach for local patients with HIV/AIDS who had been discharged from the hospital. It was the beginning of what would later be the Poverello Center, now located in Wilton Manors. The center provides a variety of services from offering nutritional meals to running a large thrift store. The mission over the years has been focused on those with needs arising from HIV. But times have changed and so has the mission, which includes not only helping those with HIV, but other critical and chronic illnesses. The nonprofit is in the beginning phases of the transition. The change was in part a recognition that funding sources needed to be more diversified. The early results have been mixed, and Poverello is still in need of a variety of help.

34  THE

Kevin J. Clevenger, events and fundraising coordinator, is on the front lines with other staff members spreading the word about their needs. “When I first started over three years ago, I was hired to do one major event called ‘Bowling to Fight Hunger,’” Clevenger said. “The event was successful but needed a reboot in the community.” Clevenger rebooted it by developing community partners in radio, and now advertises on the airwaves to reach a new audience. He’s also upped Poverello’s Facebook audience and redesigned Poverello’s website. Clevenger’s experience is unique. He worked for 13 years doing promotional tours — as a tour manager and truck driver — at events, fairs and festivals. It’s fundraising, said Clevenger, which was new to him. Along with money, he said, the center is in need of trucks, volunteers, donors, shoppers and board members.

Poverello.org Damon Scott

Photo courtesy of Kevin J. Clevenger.


Neel Amin

American Pain Experts

business spotlight

John McDonald

N

eel Amin had a lot of public relations work to do when he opened American Pain Experts six years ago. At the time oxycodone and pill mills were in the headlines and how doctors prescribed pain medication was greatly scrutinized. “We’ve changed the reputation of pain medicine here,” Amin said. “And we’ve done that by taking a multi-disciplinary approach to treating pain.” American Pain Experts holds board certifications in anesthesiology and pain management and prides itself on providing the most up-to-date therapies available in the Fort Lauderdale area. Amin, 41, a gay man, leads the medical team. “The power of medicine can change lives,” Amin said. “I learned this at an early age and was fortunate to have parents that pushed medicine on us in a good way.” Amin was voted “Most Likely To Succeed” by his graduating class at Evans High School in Augusta, Georgia. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Georgia, graduating summa cum laude, and did his pain management fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 2009, Amin became a board certified anesthesiologist in Florida. The APEX website declares “a drop of care equals new life” and its physicians are “experts in providing the newest procedures resulting from the advances of modern technology.” In this approach, APEX offers comprehensive advanced interventional techniques, medical management, physical and mental health services and alternative therapies such as acupuncture and massage. “We’re very good with our hands,” Amin said. A new procedure, Amin said, involves plasma rich protein and stem cells that reduce joint paint from arthritis. The non-surgical procedure, Amin said, is an innovative way of regenerating structures in ligament injury cases.

APEX’s Fort Lauderdale location is 1164 East Oakland Park Blvd., Suite 201. For more information, call 954-678-1074 or visit www.americanpainexperts.com

Photo by Carina Mask.

THE

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business spotlight

Leonardo and Silvia Baldi

Pier Angelo

T

he American dream is alive and well for Leonardo and Silvia Baldi. The first time they came to the U.S., in 1999, it was as tourists. They instantly fell in love with the country, Florida in particular. When they returned to Italy they sold everything and applied for an Investors Visa. They opened their first business “Gelato Dream” in 2002 on Las Olas followed by “Italian Café,” also on Las Olas, featuring their trademark artisan gelato whose ingredients were imported from Italy. Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, but it is a much softer version because it contains little or no air and has an elastic texture. Less air equals more intense flavor, with less fat content. Next they moved to Key West where they opened "Duetto - Pizza/ Gelato." They were joined by their cousin Giancarlo an Italian pizzaiolo by trade. The business was a success, they sold it (it is still doing great in KW) and in 2015 chose Wilton Manors as the start of

36  THE

Dolce Salato

their next adventure. "Dolce Salato" was born and it’s now a mainstay of The Drive. Their son Giuseppe learned how to make pizza from his cousin and he is now in charge of the ovens. Leonardo and Silvia continue to make spectacular pizza and gelato for the hungry residents and visitors of Wilton Manors. They love the feel of working in the island city. They say their customers are incredibly nice and fun, alas demanding. They want good food in a friendly atmosphere. For Leonardo and Silvia one of the most gratifying aspects of their business is to see their place filled with with both gay and straight people, children, and families all getting along and enjoying each other’s company while devouring slices of the most beloved comfort food in the world. They say it is a true rainbow. Photo by Carina Mask.


business spotlight Photo by Steven Shires.

Joe Pallant

Pallant Insurance Agency Jesse Monteagudo

J

oe Pallant opened Pallant Insurance Agency, one of the largest insurance agencies in South Florida, in 1996. Pallant was born on Miami Beach “way before I-95 was built” and studied at the University of Miami “before air conditioning was in the dorms.” After graduating from UM with an MBA, Pallant discovered that “there were no job openings in Miami for ‘international finance,’ so I was fortunate to be hired by an insurance company in Miami. It was several years after that I realized I could do it as a career,” Pallant recalled. “The Property and Casualty insurance business is a unique business and I really enjoy the business and meeting hundreds of new clients each year and helping them with their home and business insurance. I love working with my

clients and I have an outstanding office working with true professionals.” Pallant’s busy life extends beyond the insurance business. “My husband and partner is Sandro Trevisan, we both attend Crunch gym, he more than me. I am also an avid golfer and I enjoy travelling on 6 to 9 cruises a year. I enjoy spending time with my family. I have one daughter and one granddaughter,” he noted. “I moved to Fort Lauderdale 14 years ago. Wilton Manors is a wonderful, beautiful place to live and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I am actively involved in a few community organizations, including Our Fund, Lambda Legal, Stonewall Museum and Archives, the World Aids Museum, Wilton Manors Business Association, Foundation Arts Broward (FAB), the Gay Men’s Chorus, and The Pride Center.”

Marco Vico Café Vico

C

hef Marco Vico owns Café Vico, one of Fort Lauderdale’s most popular, upscale Italian restaurants. A thirdgeneration Italian, Chef Vico was born and raised in Brazil but moved to New Jersey in the early 1980’s, where he worked in an Italian restaurant and where he progressed from dishwasher to full chef and manager. In 1997 Vico and his family moved to Fort Lauderdale “because of the weather,” where he opened Café Vico. In addition to owning the restaurant, Vico was head chef for a decade before he turned chef duties to Jose Villatoro, whom he personally trained. “People like good food anywhere in the world so why not put everything in a pan and make the best of it.” “There is nothing more rewarding than creating a dish and taking it

38  THE

CafeVictoRestaurant.com to the table to see the guests enjoy it. I am like an artist who creates a piece of work only to see people's look of pleasure on their face. It's very satisfying,” Vico said. “Since I was young, coming from an Italian background family in Brazil, it was all about cooking and eating. Working at a bank back then my dream was to own my own business. A few years went by then my wife came into play and said, 'let’s go to America. I will help on anything you need,' and she did.” Next to his cooking, Chef Vico’s biggest passion is Éclair, his wife of 36 years, their daughters, Nineve and Priscilla, and their two grandchildren. Vico loves to “drink wine when cooking or doing nothing.” A sports fanatic, Vico is a “diehard” Miami Dolphins fan. He enjoys boating on Fort Lauderdale’s waterways, and hanging out with his family.

Jesse Monteagudo


Accounting and Tax Services Timothy S. Hart, CPA Managing Partner

2929 East Commercial Boulevard, Penthouse D | Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308 954-202-9770 | 954-202-9777 Fax THart@R3Accounting.com | www.R3Accounting.com


business spotlight

Denise Royal

Dr. Troy Lomasky Coast Chiropractic

R

eading the Google reviews for Dr. Troy Lomasky at Coast Chiropractic gives a little insight into why he’s popular with patients. One has been with him for more than 20 years and urges anyone with back pain to see him before seeing a doctor or taking medication. Lomasky prides himself as being thorough and hands-on when it comes to his patients. “Our office slogan is ‘we treat patients like part of the family,'” he said. “That really resonates with a lot of people.” Lomasky, a New York native, has lived in Florida for more two decades, but hasn’t lost his northeast edge. Lomasky, who identifies as straight, has many loyal patients, in part because of his warm and outgoing personality and personalized care. With Dr. Lomasky at the helm, Coast Chiropractic treats a wide range of conditions—from auto injuries to anxiety and depression. Some of the treatment provided includes spinal adjustments, massage therapy, physiotherapy, spinal decompression for disk problems, spinal rehabilitation, muscular rehabilitation and cold laser therapy. There is also a range of services offered beyond adjustments, to reduce pain, decrease swelling, relax tight muscles, and speed up the healing process. The office is located at 2608 NE 16th Avenue in Wilton Manors.

The office is located at 2608 NE 16th Avenue in Wilton Manors. For more information visit ChiropractorWiltonManors.com.

Photo by Carina Mask.

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We’re here for all your

financial needs Taxes IRS Issues Accounting

Bookkeeping Small Business Advising

954-667-9829

Accounting@sterlingaccounting.com 2435 North Dixie Highway • Wilton Manors, FL 33305


business spotlight

Tim Hart

R3 Accounting John McDonald

A

ccounting, Tim Hart said, is a profession of trust. “People trust me with their information,” Hart said. “People trust me that I’ll get the work done. People tell me things they wouldn’t tell anyone else. They tell me about their employment, their investments and trust me to give them sound and sage advice.” Hart, 59, owns R3 Accounting. He lives in Plantation and grew up in nearby Hollywood. When he began working in South Florida around 2002 Hart said the LGBT community was “grossly underserved.” “That was the time of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell),” Hart said. “Folks needed people who understood domestic partnerships and would help them without any bias or stigma.” Hart said he has worked with gay lawyers Dean Trantalis, Norm Kent and George Castrataro on projects and causes for South Florida’s LGBT community. (Kent is also the SFGN publisher.)

“I worked with Dean to make sure people had the right kind of retirement,” Hart said of his collaboration with Trantalis, Fort Lauderdale’s newly elected mayor. “These folks deserved the best we could give them.” On a personal level, Hart said his work for HIV/AIDS organizations is deeply gratifying. He has participated in the annual SMART Ride to Key West as a cyclist and serves on the board of directors for the World AIDS Museum. “That disease has affected everybody, some more than most and there are many who have been negatively afflicted,” Hart said. “You have to do something and not just talk about it.” Hart passed the CPA exam in 1982. He began his career working for “arguably one of the largest firms in the world” (KPMG) in 1979 and credits his involvement in the Oakland Park/ Wilton Manors Chamber of Commerce for “definitely helping my business.” “I joined the Chamber of Commerce and immersed myself in the community that I worked,” he said.

Patrick Volkert and Mark Hunter Hunters Nightclub

P

atrick Volkert co-owns Hunters Nightclub in Wilton Manors, the nightclub that unarguably is a leader in South Florida’s gay scene. Situated in the middle of “The Drive,” Hunters has been voted best bar by readers of SFGN for three years in a row. The club has 27 employees, Volkert said, all of which are offered health insurance. Volkert, though, does not do the hiring at Hunters. “No, I stay out of that,” Volkert said. The 58-year-old Miami native said he’s simply too much of a softie to make personnel decisions. “I’m a pushover,” he admitted. “When they come to me I can’t say no.” So Volkert stays “behind the scenes” helping with financials and letting others run the floor. General manager Bruce Howe, Volkert said, is more inclined to let employees and patrons know when they are out of line.

42  THE

And then there’s Mark Hunter, an accomplished ballroom dancer and the third stakeholder at Hunters. Patrick and Mark were a couple for many years, owning nightclubs in Chicago and California. Now just business partners, the men bought Hunters in 2013, ordered a complete renovation and built its street cred by helping local non-profits and sponsoring recreational teams. Sunday Tea Dance is a big night with DJ Richie Rich running sound. The dance floor section of the club has it all. Lights, fog, dancers, a big screen projector and music help to get your feet shuffling. Climb the stairs to get a glimpse of those sweaty dancers from Sal’s Starlight Lounge. The lounge is named after the late Studio 54 bartender Sal DeFalco, who helped Hunters open. A visit to the lounge during high tea is one way to fulfill Hunters' promise of “Spirits Elevated.”

John McDonald


business spotlight

Brittany Ferrendi

T

he Pride Factory is in very capable hands. Between owner Matthew Deak and his sister-in-law Vice President/Buyer Lori Deak, The Pride Factory has been the go-to swimwear, underwear and fashion apparel hotspot for the last two decades. After purchasing the business in 2001, the pair spent 17 years growing the business to one of the top LGBT stores in the area. “I love being here. I love working with the staff — we have a fantastic staff,” said Lori Deak, who oversees operations and buying at

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Lori Deak The Pride Factory

The Pride Factory. “They call me the token gay girl, even though I’m not gay. I feel welcome in the community, and it was easy to settle in.” Catered to gay clientele, The Pride Factory fills its 8,300-plus square foot building with a range of items including clothing, jewelry, colognes and a diverse variety of fetish wear. The Pride Factory recently had its anniversary party in March, which was a VIP event for customers. They gave away six gift baskets; three donated and three of their own. “We want to come up with more ideas in the store.”

Photo by Carina Mask.


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• • • • • • • • • • • www.WMGAZETTE.com • • • • • • • • • • •


business spotlight

Russell Cormican

Kent & Cormican, Criminal Defense Law Center Jesse Monteagudo

R

ussell Lonnie Cormican is the other half of Kent & Cormican. But SFGN publisher Norm Kent’s fame should not hide the fact that Cormican is a notable figure in his own right. How did they get together? As he recalls, “upon Graduating from Florida State University Law School, I started searching for a job. I did not want to do something that was boring or felt like it had no purpose, so I looked for firms that did work that involved the types of issues that led me to be a lawyer in the first place.” “That is how I came across Norm. Norm wasn’t afraid to stand up for people who were unjustly targeted, even if it was unpopular or controversial. Norm wasn’t advertising for an open position, but I took a chance and sent a letter and a copy of my resume. He responded and I started doing some small research projects for him, which eventually led into a full time partnership. It’s now been 22 years and I’ve had the opportunity to work on a lot of very interesting cases that Norm has a knack for attracting.” “My motivation as a lawyer has always been to stand up for people who are being subjected to the weight of government prosecution, whether it be for their speech, their sexuality, or some alleged criminal act. When the vast power of the state is brought to bear on an individual, that is precisely when access to competent legal representation is most important. My practice is primarily focused on criminal defense, but I also handle some general civil matters. I handle all types of criminal cases, but I have developed a particular specialty in dealing with drug related offenses. Our office has always been very involved in legal activism related to the reform of marijuana laws.” When he is not fighting the good fight, Cormican spends his time with his “longterm girlfriend and life partner whom I have been with for 19 years. I do not have any children, but we have a miniature dachshund who is so spoiled that he might as well be our child. When I’m away from work, I enjoy playing the guitar and watching college football.”

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Eric McKnight & Christian Santiago Dick’s Service Station

W

hen you’re a JetBlue flight attendant sometimes you visit cool places. Christian Santiago was in one of those places when SFGN connected with him from the Dominican Republic for this profile. He was eager to help spread the word about Dick’s Service Station in Oakland Park while his husband, owner-operator Eric McKnight, was attending to a family matter. The couple has been together for 10 years and were married about two years ago. Dick’s is a full-service barbershop, so there are the typical services. But McKnight cranks it up a few notches with a cosmetologist and manicurist as two of 17 “pit crew members” on staff. The pit crew designation is because the shop is modeled to look like an old fashioned 1950s service station with antiques and artifacts from that era. Services range from cuts to coloring, waxing, beard trimming and more. Much of the clientele is LGBT, a group the duo

works to stay close with. “We stay connected to the LGBT community through in-kind and financial sponsorships with Broward House, Front Runners and the Gay Men’s Chorus to name a few,” Santiago said, adding that a portion of every service is donated back to the gay community. Dick’s gives local police and fire employees discounted services, too. McKnight, after all, is a retired Suffolk County (New York) police detective with 28 years on the force. “Both of us have strong philanthropic backgrounds, supporting and volunteering for local and national causes, events and charities,” Santiago said. The couple donated a fully equipped barbershop, modeled to look like a miniature version of Dick’s, to The Poverello Center. “This equipment allows our pit crew members to volunteer their time several times a week,” Santiago said.

business spotlight

Damon Scott

Dick’s, soon to enter its third year in business, is located at 3528 NE 12th Ave. More is at Dicks954.com.

Richard Gray

Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

T

he CVB is Richard Gray’s baby. He said so in a telephone conversation with the Mirror Magazine last week. The Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has many functions, Gray said. He should know. Gray is the vice president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB and leads its world renowned LGBT department. The budget for marketing and promoting to LGBT travelers is over $1 million. The CVB’s mission, Gray said, is to “bring business to Fort Lauderdale.” “Fort Lauderdale is one of the few places the gay community is holding its own,” Gray said. Gray travels globally on behalf of the CVB and knows where to travel and where not to travel. He was recently in Portland, Oregon, while another trip took him to the Middle East aboard Emirates airlines. “The LGBT community in Fort Lauderdale is thriving,” Gray said. Although he said the trend appears to be “fewer and fewer gay bars,” greater Fort Lauderdale is still attracting a large number

John McDonald

of gay tourists. Gray launched his LGBT bureau in 1996. The CVB, Gray said, is primarily funded through bed taxes collected by the Broward County government. Broward County, Gray said, is one of the few “majority, minority” counties in America. There are more African American and Hispanic than white households in Broward County, Gray said. “Over 100 languages are spoken here,” Gray said. One of the successes of the CVB is its annual Southern Comfort Transgender Conference, returning this September. The conference further proves Gray’s point of greater Fort Lauderdale being a welcoming destination to all. “We want all travelers to feel welcome and comfortable here,” Gray said. “It’s like an oasis in a really conservative state.”

Transgender travelers can find more information about the conference at www.sunny.org/tlgb


business spotlight

John McDonald

Christina Wan

Christina Wan's Mandarin House

C

hristina Wan is a third generation restaurateur. Wan owns Christina Wans Mandarin House at 664 North Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, tucked away in a shopping plaza in the Victoria Park neighborhood. “A lot of our clientele are gay,” Wan said. “We have a good connection with the gay community.” Business is brisk during the lunch hour, Wan said. In a 2013 review by South Florida Gay News, Wan herself was described as a welcoming host. “With a warm welcome from Christina herself when you walk in the door, it feels like you’re home,” the reviewer wrote. “She’ll seat you next to one of the large windows or in a deep booth. There’s also ample seating at the fully stocked bar, featuring imported beers, wines by the glass, and a variety of cocktails.” In 1966, the Wan family emigrated to South Florida and opened a restaurant on Calle Ocho in southwestern Miami. Christina opened her first restaurant in Hollywood in 1996 before moving it to Fort Lauderdale. The restaurant advertises a four-star dining experience. “We care about our business and our food,” Wan said. “We make everything from scratch and most of [our] customers return again and again. We are [a] destination spot. What we do here is New York Chinese and we have people that come from Aventura, Boca Raton, Plantation and Weston at least once a week to eat here.” Popular menu items, Wan said, include Peking duck, roast pork bar-b-que, butterfly shrimp and her grandfather’s dumplings recipe. Sunset dinners (choice of meat, soup, rice and rolls) are available daily from 3 to 6 p.m. for around $14. Christina Wans takes reservations and accepts credit cards. Parking is free.

For more information call 954-527-0228 or visit ChristinaWans.com. Photo by Carina Mask.

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Artist spotlight

Four Questions with

C

Pompano Beach Artist

Carlos Cesar Alves Damon Scott

olorblindness, discovered at age 11, is a big part of Carlos Cesar Alves’ story. But it’s really just a hook that compels people to stop and look more closely at the amazing color and depth the Brazilian-born and now Pompano Beach resident’s work holds. After a stint as a priest and years working in corporate finance, Alves and his art have taken off — he’s got a new studio and has exhibited in more than 70 shows. (In case you were wondering, he labels his paints so he knows what color he’s using.) Alves has “series” names for his art. We asked him questions inspired by four.

Friends series What does friendship mean to you?

Friendship for me is something that is made in heaven. Friends sometimes know more about you than your own family. On my Friends series, though, the friendship is represented as the artwork being my best friends. I can say that I have a lot of friends who are really close and know me as I really am. I have a lot of friends completely connected and active in the LGBT community, and doing great contributions to our group.

 Friends - Intergalactic World 48 inches x 48 inches Mixed Media on Wood

50  THE

Bada Reborn  72 inches x 72 inches Mixed Media on Wood


Artist spotlight

THE

ď Ź 51


Artist spotlight

Dimensions series

Your artwork clearly has dimension. What’s your process like?

 Dimensions 24 inches x 36 inches x 3 inches Mixed Media on Wood: Watercolor Paper, Watercolor paint, Acrylic paint, Sumi Ink, India Ink, Pigments, Application of Epoxy Resin in layers.

The Dimensions series reflects my connection with the universe, with the cosmos. I normally pray and bless my artwork before I start working. It is a ritual that for me opens the channels and connects me with the cosmos. However, when I work on this series I also ask permission to the universe to allow me to go to different dimensions and see the other side. What normally happens is that I start seeing flashes [and] images and my hands literally start reproducing the images that I am seeing there. At this moment I can say that I am connected with the universe and that I am really painting. I always say that my Dimensions series are images of a parallel universe that really exists, and I can see it and touch it. These pieces normally take from three to six months.

 Moods 3 36 inches x 80 inches Mixed Media on Wood

Moods series Do you consider yourself moody?

I paint basically emotions. I am a selftaught artist. I never took an art class in my life. Everything I paint comes from my heart. I am a very passionate and emotional person. Sometimes too much. And on top of that, my sign is Aries, which is the most passionate sign of the zodiac. Everything I do, I do with a lot of passion. I am not afraid to say that I would not feel that I am living if my life was not filled with a lot of emotions.

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Artist spotlight

54 ď Ź THE

lo M sC or es e ar is Al at ve s.c om .

For me, an artist, or any other person that does not have a sense [of] where they came from, it is a person without structure. Whatever your story would be, you should never deny or try to erase [it]. Those life stories made the person that you are today, and nothing will change that. I am extremely proud of the place where I came from, proud of the family I have, proud of the friends I made, and proud of having all that as part of my history.

ar

This series started with face drawings as far back as kindergarten. How important is the sense of where you came from?

C

Vanishing Faces series

ď ° Vanishing Faces 01 22 Inches x 30 Inches Mixed Media on Wood


“Each year, I walk proudly in the Wilton Manors Stonewall Parade, honoring and celebrating the history of the LGBT movement. Every step is a reminder that the road to equality is never easy, but together as brothers, sisters, neighbors, and friends, we move forward. Dignity and respect are things we seek to embrace as a people, as a community, and as your Sheriff’s Office.” –Sheriff Scott Israel

At the Broward Sheriff’s Office, pride is more than just a word. We show pride in who we are as people and in the services we provide as a public safety agency, whether marching in a parade or answering a call to help those in need. And we’re looking for more great men and women to join the BSO team. To learn more, please visit jobs.sheriff.org.


Find Your

flavor Turn the page and let the Mirror take you around the local dining scene.

THE

ď Ź 57


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58  THE


Raising the

FOOD

BAR Local taverns dish up tasty fare

I

Rick Karlin

t wasn’t that long ago that the closest most bars came to serving food was the olive in your martini (and no, it doesn’t count as a serving of fruit). While we all know you shouldn’t drink and drive, there’s nothing wrong with an occasional “drink and dine” experience. Recently, quite a few places in WilMa have stepped up their game when it comes to the food they serve, all the better to keep you happy and at the bar.

The Pub.

The Pub 2283 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors 754-200-5244 ThePubWM.com Part of The Pub’s recent remodel and redesign was adding a kitchen. When the kitchen first opened, the menu was ambitious, perhaps too much so for such a small space. When the new owners took over one of the first things they did was pare back the menu, keeping some of the most successful dishes, jettisoning those that didn’t work or weren’t as popular and rounding it out with a few new items. The result is a menu that is not only feasible, but represents what people actually want in bar food. Classic snack favorites include; nachos, chicken wings, pretzel bites, potato skins and fries, as well as a couple of more upscale items such as; fried calamari (tossed with grape tomatoes and Calabria peppers) and a bloody Mary shrimp cocktail. For you French Canadians, there’s poutine. The menu’s main attraction is The Pub burger. Other sandwich options include a build your own burger, chicken tenders (grilled or fried), a spicy breaded Buffalo chicken breast in a flour wrap, and an Italian-seasoned grilled chicken breast, all served with fries. A basket of hand battered fish and chips is served with a dill citrus tartar and red cabbage slaw. To accompany these delectable tidbits, drinks are two-forone from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

60  THE


FOOD

The famous Rumors burger.

Gym Sports Bar 2287 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors 954-368-5318 GymSportsBar.com The Wilton Manors outpost of the popular sports bar from New York and Los Angeles, boasts, “Cheap and proud of it!” and the menu certainly reflects that. The fare is just what you want for bar food; lots of fried stuff to soak up the alcohol at a reasonable price (truth in advertising!). Fried things proliferate; egg rolls, fries, onion rings, fried pickles along with heartier fare such as burgers, nachos and tacos. If you’re feeling healthy there is a side salad and you can swap out a boneless, skinless chicken breast for any burger. About the only shortcoming is the lack of a vegetarian burger. Specials make the food an even bigger bargain, turning the inexpensive menu into a real bargain. From 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, nachos are just $2, (add another $2 for chicken or beef), mozzarella sticks are $4, hot dogs are a buck (add chili or cheese half a buck each), chicken tacos are $2, chicken tenders are $5, and wings are 75¢ each (minimum 6 per order). “Two for Tuesdays” bring you half-priced burgers and $2 tacos all day, although I’m not certain how that qualifies as “Two for…” who’s going to complain when food this good is this cheap? On Thursdays, hot dogs are a buck all day and on weekends, you can catch the latest games while chowing down on 75¢ wings.

Rumors 2426 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors 954-565-8851 RumorsBarWiltonManors.com Rumors steps bar food up a notch, with a menu designed by celebrity chef Robyn Almodóvar (Food Network’s “Chopped,” Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Food Truck Face-Off” and Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen”). The extensive menu includes brunch, lunch, dinner or just a snack. Munchies include southwestern egg rolls, corn and crab fritters, quesadillas, guacamole and chips, fried cauliflower or mushrooms, black bean hummus, extreme tater tots, stuffed potato skins, kettle chip nachos or a sampler platter. There’s a late-night menu of munchies including most of the above and fried or grilled jumbo shrimp and chicken tenders breaded with Captain Crunch cereal! Wings come with your choice of sauces; honey-bbq, lemon pepper, Buffalo, teriyaki or the combo, “lemon-aki.” Sandwich options include sliders (chicken, short rib and filet mignon), Philly cheesesteak, meatball, short rib grilled cheese, crab cake, buffalo chicken and burgers, including a black-bean vegetarian version. There are also salads and a variety of sides, both the expected (onion rings, tater tots) and unusual (truffle French fries, and truly addictive spicy-sweet fried Brussels sprouts). Brunch choices range from standard fare, such as eggs and omelets, French toast, pancakes and biscuits and gravy to more exotic selections; crab cake Benedict, an open faced steak sandwich, avocado toast and chicken and waffles.

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Beefcakes 1721 N Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale 954-463-6969 BoardwalkBar.com If all you know about Boardwalk is the naked dancers, you’re missing half the fun. The bar has a wonderful outdoor dining area called Beefcakes where the food is way better than you’d expect. The menu is also as long as the dancers’… let’s just say it’s extensive! Soup options include a delicious French onion or a crock of chili. There are a variety of salads; from a simple house to a filling Caesar (with the option of adding grilled chicken or salmon), a bountiful Cobb and chicken tenders with romaine. Munchies include chicken wings with a choice of glazes (Buffalo, Jack Daniel’s, parmesan-garlic, Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue, teriyaki or sweet & sour orange garlic), colossal onion rings, Asian vegetable rolls, potato skins, jalapeño poppers, Asian ribs, and a cheese quesadilla. Other quesadillas are stuffed with everything from Cuban style chicken to Philly cheese steak. Sliders are made from your choice of ground beef, ground turkey or Buffalo chicken tenders. Other yummy nibblies include; mozzarella moons, chicken fingers, jalapeño poppers and potato skins. The big daddy platter is filled with most of the above. Burgers and sandwiches offer traditional toppings as well as specialty combos and turkey and veggie offerings. Other sandwich selections run the gamut from a Philly cheesesteak (or a chicken version), a meatball sub, Reuben, French dip, blackened or breaded fish and a giant wiener (would you expect anything less than a foot-long quarter pounder?). Fish tacos, chicken shish kabob, spaghetti and meatballs, grilled chicken or salmon are among the entrée offerings, as is Vickie’s fried chicken dinner (named after the popular bartender, it’s half a chicken coated with Boardwalk’s southern buttermilk batter and served with mashed potatoes and chicken gravy). Meat and potato eaters will love the 16 oz. NY strip or rib-eye steak served with 2 side items and an onion ring garnish. There’s a special menu for those watching their weight and it even lists Weight Watchers’ point values for each dish. Among the selections available are; grilled chicken wrap, a lettuce wrap burger and a tuna and egg salad combo served with carrots, celery, cucumbers and pita chips. On the weekends, breakfast is served. There is often a buffet as well as an a la carte menu with standard offerings.


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Join Me On le Patio le Patio certainly makes their guest feel invited – like going to the home of a fun couple who serve up the most delicious things to enjoy. Its casual atmosphere is an intimate and relaxing experience, as hints of subtle excitement build for what is about to taste amazing. Restaurateurs Vero Leroux and Jean Doherty bring decades of blended culinary skills to the table. Since she was a girl in Province, France, Vero quickly learned the art of preparing French meals with her family. Jean grew up in Dublin loving to cook Irish cuisine, until she moved to France at seventeen and discovered another joy: French recipes. The two ladies met years later when Jean was Vero’s trainer at a signage company. Becoming fast friends, they soon discovered they shared a passion for one another and the desire to open a restaurant. Vero attributes the successes to both their relationship and restaurants on the fact they never cook together at the same time. “There’s only one cook in the kitchen,” Vero smiles. Their formula worked and they opened a second restaurant in France. In 2005, Vero and Jean were thinking of moving to South Florida but wanted to experience its heat of summer. They opted for a September vacation in Fort Lauderdale and loved it so much, they returned home to sell their business and say, “Au revoir France. Bonjour l’Amérique.” Last April, le Patio celebrated ten years of serving their delicious European comforts. Favorite French wines offered include Côtes du Rhône, Bordeaux ‘Haut Medoc’, and Rosé De Provence (a summer wine fave.) Must-try signature items include authentic French Onion Soup with white wine, Chicken Avocado Salad served with homemade French Vinaigrette, true Irish Shepherds Pie, Lobster Ravioli, and French Chef Paul Bocuse’s special recipe: Crème Brulee. Vero winks. “Good things take time. Bon appétit.”

Le Patio is located at 2401 NE 11th Avenue, Wilton Manors, FL 33305. Reservations are suggested by calling 954-530-4641. They are open Tuesday – Saturday for lunch 11:30 to 2pm; Dinner Tuesday – Sunday 5:30 to close.


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profile

Greenlighting Wilton Manors How Tom Green Has Quietly Achieved Results // John McDonald

T

om Green is a wise man. He is tall and thin and rolls up the sleeves of his dress shirts. Green strikes the pose of a grandfatherly figure with neatly trimmed silver hair. On a cool winter morning, Green is waiting in the conference room of the Wilton Manors Library for an interview with the Mirror Magazine. Over the course of an hour, Green looked back on the early days of what he described as soft activism to his present situation of visible power and influence. This November, in Los Angeles, Green will assume the presidency of the LGBT local officials' constituency group for the National League of Cities. It’s been a steady rise for this commissioner of the tiny island city of Wilton Manors. The former high school geography teacher would later turn into a political player in South Florida. He is often confused for a straight man, which makes him chuckle. Green and his partner Kurt, an architect, have been together for 40 years this October. “I’ve always been a behind the scenes person,” he said. “I’m not going to win any best of awards in gay magazines.”

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“I’ve always been a behind the scenes person. I’m not going to win any best of awards in gay magazines.” - Tom Green

Green has been in Florida a long time. He’s 75 now. He remembers attending “underground” gay meetings of local teachers during a time when being out in the classroom was not possible. “I don’t think I was ever vocal enough,” Green said of his early activism. “I kept telling people we don’t all have to be in the streets. I was a teacher at Broward College at the time and I couldn’t go out and yell a lot.” Working behind the scenes, Green helped the Dolphin Democrats gain charter status in Broward County in 1983. He even paid for the first 25 memberships out of his own pocket. Green was born in Gainesville, moved to South Florida after graduation to attend the University of Miami and was hired by Broward College shortly after. “That was the only job I’ve ever had in my life,” Green said. He worked for Broward College for 37 years and was certified to teach natural resource conservation. In addition to teaching geography, Green taught courses in state and local government. “I’ve always joked around in the classroom,” Green said. “I don’t think you need to be too serious about everything.” Green served as president of the faculty union at Broward College and would travel to Washington, D.C. once a month for meetings. He has also taught overseas in Malaysia and Ecuador. When asked about the recent Parkland shooting, Green said he “can’t even comprehend” the attack. He recalled telling police academy cadets to not openly carry guns into his Broward College classes. “I told two of them, ‘You need to have your guns here perhaps, but you don’t need to show it,’” Green told the uniformed cadets. “So, I made them wear their jackets to class. If anyone did that today there would be screaming that you’re violating the Second Amendment.” Green admits living in Wilton Manors is “insulating” to the right-wing politics that dominate the rest of the state. He is undeniably a Democrat. It was at a Democratic Party meeting that Lori Parrish first met Green and the two would grow to become dear friends. “Tom opened my mind to issues I hadn’t thought about and nobody took time to

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explain,” said Parrish, a straight woman. Serving on the Broward School Board in the mid-1980s, Parrish worked with Green to craft policy concerning HIV/AIDS. “AIDS had become an issue with the Ryan White story in Indiana,” Parrish recalled. “A lot of people had extremely prejudiced opinions then. So I got together with Tom, Karl Clark and Lori Mattingly to write the formula for Broward’s first AIDS policy in the school district.” Parrish would go on to be elected to the county commission where she again called on Green to help with Broward’s human rights ordinance. “Tom was one of the first people to teach me the intricacies of issues I would naturally support,” Parrish said. Broward’s domestic partner ordinance allowed survivors to inherit the pensions and social security of their departed spouses, Parrish said. She ended her public service career as the county’s property appraiser where she had brochures printed depicting gay and lesbian couples. “We have become a very welcoming community for gays and lesbians,” said Parrish, who retired from the property appraiser’s office in 2016. “And it’s because of pioneers like Tom Green.” Green’s political career started with an election for Broward’s central water control district, a position he held for 12 years. “I knocked on doors and people would say, ‘You are running for what?,” he recalled. “They said, ‘I never heard of it and I’ve never heard of you, but since you knocked on my door, I’ll vote for you.’ So that’s when I realized with small areas that’s how you get elected, by knocking on doors.” Green would return to his door knocking in Wilton Manors, often following in the footsteps of fellow commissioners. “He’s definitely a diligent person,” said Wilton Manors Commissioner Justin Flippen. “Tom’s got his hands in a lot of pots.” Flippen called Green an “unsung hero” and said his service has helped turn the small island city into a beacon of progress. From casting the third and deciding vote on

Wilton Manors’ transgender inclusive policy to being the driving force behind green building codes and an electric car charging station at city hall, Green’s impact is evident, Flippen said. “He’s not the loudest voice out there but his presence is certainly appreciated,” Flippen said. Commissioner Julie Carson said Green provides invaluable insight into municipal sustainability. “Tom’s commitment to ‘greening’ the environment, innovative transportation, and community connectivity are hallmarks of his positive impact on the future of Wilton Manors,” Carson said. Like in the classroom, Green tries to make meetings fun. On the dais, he often scores points with style. “He delivers it in a way that is sarcastic and witty yet intelligent and entertaining,” Flippen said. At the urging of his union brothers, Green ran for the Wilton Manors commission in 2008. The commission, at that time, had a more Republican bent and the union felt Green would be the perfect person to reverse that trend. “My two main focus points in Wilton Manors have always been the environment and transportation,” Green said. In addition to his duties on the Wilton Manors Commission, Green has a seat on the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization. As a member of the MPO, Green has been instrumental in the city receiving more than $3 million for construction projects on Dixie Highway and Wilton Drive. The narrowing of Wilton Drive – a major corridor where most of South Florida’s gay bars, shops and restaurants are located – will begin in August. Green admits it is a controversial project. “If things go wrong, I’ll get blamed for it and if things go right, people will forget I was involved,” he quips. This fall, at the National League of Cities Convention in Los Angeles, is where the man often mistaken for being straight will be tapped to lead the organization’s LGBT group. As he exits the library, Green assures the Mirror Magazine his time of speaking up has come. “I’m going to be the president of the group, so I’ve got to be vocal,” Green said.


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Mirror May 2018  
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